Monday Buffet: Young Artists Premiere, Ethics Investigation Backlog, Cop vs. Python

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy kindergarten day. Today us the birthday of Friedrich Froebel, the man who started the first kindergarten in Germany in 1837.

On the Beacon this morning, the young artists show at the Hockaday Museum of Art features painting and sculptures by some of the most talented kids in the valley. Realtors in Northwest Montana are taking steps to avoid any liabilities that might derive from conflicts between buyers and sellers in the “planning doughnut” regarding Whitefish’s Critical Areas Ordinance. The Lions Club pancake breakfast in Columbia Falls looks like it was a rousing success. Our Faces feature this week profiled Charlie Dotson, a three-season athlete at Flathead High. And Editor Kellyn Brown weighs in on wastefulness in the state government and the “Solitaire-gate” video game scandal.

In state news, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are finessing a fine line for voters in coal producing states like Montana, as the Democratic presidential hopefuls talk about fighting global warming while also pushing coal development. Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will be making two stops in Montana to stump for Roy Brown, the GOP candidate for governor. Montana’s unemployment rate rose slightly in March. The Missoulian reports that in a crucial election year, the state Commission of Political Practices has fallen behind in its ethics investigations. A 2007 law just kicked in, allowing people to give more money to candidates for state and local office.

And finally, a police officer in Eugene, Ore., battled a Burmese python in a pet shop to free the shop owner whose arm was being swallowed. Not a typical day for the cop. Have a great Monday.